MISSION 12: ART MY RIDE

What do the French Revolution, American Revolution, and Cuban Revolution have in common? They all happened in July!

Let’s face it—spring is a terrible season for revolution. Empirical evidence indicates that the masses are reluctant to take to the streets in the thick of April’s infamous showers. May and June, on the other hand, are simply too nice. The pleasant weather lulls the average proletariat into complacency, and he forgets to hate his government.

By July, however, most people begin to feel oppressed and stifled by the heat. They yearn for freedom and a gentle prod is all it takes to make them go out and burn shit. Incidentally, with those spring showers safely out of the way, July is also a perfect month for arson.

So, after our happy-go-lucky spring break, Art Art Revolution is back with a vengeance. We wish to honor the season with a new mission: Art My Ride

Marx famously declared religion to be the “opiate of the masses” and, in his time, perhaps he was right. But looking around me today, religion doesn’t seem to be a major force behind our complacent bliss. As I ride the subway, it’s true, I don’t see many people reading the Communist Manifest, but I don’t see too many people reading the Bible either. Instead, just about everybody is tuned into their iPhones, iPods, iPads, iWorlds. Consumerism has become the dogma of the digital age, and the cool shit we own, our drug of choice.

With impressive prescience, Xzibit boldly observed the universal human need to “pimp” one’s ride. We at Art, Art, Revolution feel that this ostentatious compulsion could, ironically, be the cure for our doped-up consumer nation.

For a long time, critics of capitalism have argued that the system encourages us to define ourselves through the shit we own. To me, however, this inclination does not seem inherently problematic. Well, ok, it’s a bit problematic. But the real problem is that the shit we own, and with which we definite ourselves, is mass produced. Whether the coffee in your hand comes from Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or the hip fair-trade café tucked in a quiet alley behind your apartment, you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back too hard. Remember, anybody with $2 ($4, $6, whatever the price!) could purchase the same cup of coffee. How special do you feel now?

But if you were to grow your own beans, brew them at home, and pour them into a ceramic mug which you designed, maybe you could take a little more pride.

And so, for your next mission, we urge you to pimp your proverbial ride. Take a mass produced object and turn it into a one-of-a-kind work of art, something that makes a statement, something you can be proud of, and which represents you. Your modifications could be subtle or drastic. The object could be a coffee cup, a car, or anything in between. It doesn’t matter. Your mission is to take artistic control of the shit you own, and let your inner revolutionary shine in the July heat.

Mission 11 Report: Supergroup

Submitted by Ghazi:

“I decided to draw my own picture, which would be a series of people I knew all performing in a “Supergroup.””

“Supergroups have had mixed reputations throughout the history of music, but no Supergroup had as turbulent a musical history as “Super X-2,” driven mainly by artistic differences, sometimes expressed as those between the drummer and the pianist about wheth…er or not video game music was as good as the works of Mozart , sometimes expressed by the bassist’s dissatisfaction at the level of audio feedback that the sound engineers tolerated, and sometimes expressed by the rhythm guitarist’s disagreement with himself the next day. Still, the band also generated a few rave hits, with Pitchfork media calling them, “The least pretentious supergroup since Emerson Lake and Palmer” and the band receiving accolades at the Los Angeles Music Awards as a “startlingly original group” although one of the judges railed against the band’s decisions to the revise and reuse of an old Atonal Melee song, which they now called “Assless Chaps.” Furthermore, the New York Times reviewed one of the band’s concerts, calling it “Ten times as good as The Bruce Band, with only one tenth the membership!” “

Mission 11 Report: The Singing Ministers

A followup from Bartholomew:

“After losing the Frohlich Mode-Wettbewerb, and carelessly allowing our wrath to overcome us later at the hotel, B and I decided to become ministers online through the Universal Life Church. We got together with the only two other people as white as us and recorded “Let Me Touch Him,” striving to get closer to Jesus. Although God Himself approved of our chef d’ouevre, critics unanimously panned the album, and our producer was arrested for singing the title track to the boys at Sunday school.”

We also have some feedback from the Facebook posting. One crass individual asked of the album title: “all right, if you had to… which one”?

To which one of the singing ministers replied: “By “if you had to…which one” I assume you mean “if you had to listen to just one of this band’s divine songs and no others which one would you listen to?” I can answer that question with some difficulty. The opening track, “Jesus in the Saddle” (a bit of a country-western riff) is hard to turn down at first, but after repeated listenings the rhythmic simplicity of the piece grows tiresome. The second track “Kneeling at the Alter” was a largely forgettable ballad. The third track, “Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me” was very strong, and a bit long, filled with glorious anthems. The title track was amazing, and would be difficult to go without, but is hard to forget the inglorious incident of the arrest associated with that song. The last reflective song, though, “Scents of Loaves and Fishes” was a meditation on common rituals and deep issues associated and would be impossible for me to forsake experiencing repeatedly.

Mission 11 Report: The New Proctologists

Submitted by Newsense:
Federal Deficit Commission Chair Alan K. Simpson, decrying senior citizens who are not fans of the yout music scene, recently was recorded speaking these wise words:

“This is fakery. If they [seniors] care at all about their children or grandchildren, and sometimes I doubt that — I think you know, grandchildren now don’t write a thank-you for the Christmas presents, they’re walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to the enema man and Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg, and they don’t like them!”

See the news story here.

I decided to seek out these two illustrious artists for whom seniors had scorn and Mr. Simpson had such sympathy. I was surprised, I will tell you, by what I found.

Who are “Enema Man” and “Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg”? It turns out they once performed in a three man a capella trio with the distinguished former Senator Simpson himself! The name of the group was “The New Proctologists” which was subsequently ripped off by far inferior bands.

An Illustrious Group

L to R: Enema Man, K Simp, Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg

This photograph was taken in the early sixties, when the band was in its heyday. Pictured here, from left to right, are “Enema Man”–also known as Jeremy Rawls, K Simp–who would later go on to be a Federal Deficit Commission Chair, and “Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dogg”–also known as Henry Wilson, one of the earliest and most influential white rappers.

Mission 11 Report: DEATHPANDA

submitted by The Keyboardist

This candid shot was taken of the rock band DEATHPANDA (formerly known as Angkst) enjoying a cigarette break before a recent performance.

Angkst achieved widespread underground fame during the late 90’s and early 00’s, due to their energetic performances and unique blend of heavy metal and hip-hop. “Where Do I Belong?” peaked at #47 on the Billboard’s Rock chart in 1999, marking the band’s greatest commercial hit. “Riptide” reached #64 and was nominated by MTV for the “Best Concept Video” in 2001. In 2003, Angkst sued the band Linkin Park for “ripping off their style” and lost, generating considerable negative publicity. Things went downhill after that, culminating with the ill-fated 2005 European tour. Guitarist Blingery was paralyzed while crowd surfing during a performance in Milan, while bassist Fynx was apprehended in Bucharest after attempting to smuggle a rare species of bat out of Romania in his carry-on. Ostensibly, this prompted the breakup of the band, although most sources cite drug addiction and religious differences (drummer J-Duff was a devout Catholic who openly criticized singer B-Laz for pushing the band what he deemed to be a ‘pagan direction’) as other key factors.

However, in 2009, the group put aside their differences and reformed under the name DEATHPANDA, and began performing a mix of new and old material in full-body panda costumes. Blingery, who had been paralyzed from the waste down, was replaced on guitar by Mishredda, but joined the band onstage in wheelchair for a memorable encore performance at the Rabbot Cabaret. Fynx, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for the trafficking of endangered species, was replaced on bass by Victor Wooten.

According to rapper Bill, “DEATHPANDA is all about promoting a positive message—protecting pandas and other endangered species—in a hardcore way that resonates with today’s youth.” The group was a commercial flop in the United States, but earned considerable popularity in East Asia. In 2010, the band relocated to Tokyo and tours throughout Japan, as well as in China, South Korea, Taiwan, and The Philippines.

Here’s a closeup of drummer J-Duff:

Mission 11: Gather Your Friends

Welcome back, Art Revolutionaries. We had a successful first few months, with dozens of great submissions. Since then, we’ve been thinking about the site and retooling the site experience. Now, we’ll have more missions with varying participation thresholds, so anyone can participate. We’re also going to bring you more news from around the art world. So, without further ado, Mission 11:

All you need for this mission are some friends or colleagues that you wish to make into a work of art. Next, you can do one of two things:

1. Find a goofy group picture on the internet. It can be anything, really, as long as it has several people or objects in it.
2. Pick a friend or acquaintance to fit each role in the picture.
3. Write a story about how the group got together or what they are doing in the picture.
4. Post your creation to Facebook and tag your friends! Send it to us as well, with instructions on what names to omit.

Of course, in jokes are to be expected, but you can also write stories that are funny to anyone.

Here are some examples:

[Submitted by Bartholomew]

“Here’s an old photo from the 2006 Frohlich Mode-Wettbewerb in Fucking, Austria. Nathan, with his dashing gelled blonde hair (many years before Jersey Shore, mind you) finished first. Flying J, with that piercing stare and beautifully-defined jaw line came in second. Even though John wore his father’s suit jacket (which was slightly large on him), he managed to come in third. The rest of us secretly schemed our revenge which manifested itself later that night at the hotel.”

[Submitted by Bengar]

“This is the Legendary Bruce Band, widely regarded as being the second best Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band with at least one clarinet player in Rhode Island in 2008. The competing band, though, was possibly a rumor based on a commotion made by several drunk 40 year old women blowing New-Years party horns outside a waterside bar in Warwick, RI.

Many believed the trumpeter was the best member of the group, musically, perhaps because he never blew into the correct end of the instrument. Others disagreed, saying the flutist was better on the strength of her never realizing she had actually been playing a pirate’s telescope throughout her stint in the group.”

Mission 9 Report: Zappa

Mission Report from RTS:

Sorry for the late post–I did indeed throw a Zappadan Party this year. Unfortunately, we got too consumed with drinking wine and drinking beer and whatnot to engage in any hardcore art.

However! After the party was over, and a suitable amount of time passed to let my head clear, I was inspired to draw this picture of Zappa in honor of Zappadan.